Germany's Crackdown

Germany's first insider-trading conviction under a year-old law bolsters claims by Frankfurt officials that Germany can create more transparent financial markets. Federal authorities fined Harald Kronseder, a member of the founding family of beverage-machinery maker Krones, $1.3 million. Kronseder sold $800,000 worth of shares last November before Krones revised its profit forecasts downward.

More penalties may be on the way. The authorities are extending their probe to employees of Commerzbank, which is Krones' bank. Altogether, the 65-person securities watchdog team has launched 16 investigations. "This is all part of building a new equity culture in Germany," says Georg Wittich, head of the Federal Supervisory Office for Securities Trading.

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